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Story Submitted by: suzanne3499

There will be a exhibit of over 125 from Kenya, Zimbabwe,Tanzania,Rwanda and Niambia in the little village of Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada. This event has been over a year and a half in the making between the Kenyan Quilters Guild and Cotton-By-Post Quilt Shoppe. When this began both Kenya and Zimbabwe were hopeful that their elections would be the beginning of real change unfortunately things have gotten worse. We went to Kenya in Feburary to go over the final details for the show and Suzanne taught in Niarobi and Mombassa. Although the Canadian government issued a non essential travel warning, we had no problems at all travelling from the Rift Valley to the Indian ocean. The people we stayed with, and those we had the pleasure of meeting, were wonderful. We brought back quilts to share with the different guilds to give them a taste of what will be happening the week of October 20th to the 25th 2008. What makes this event so special is that through all the unrest in the area the quilters are working on quilts for this event and over 17 quilters will be coming here share their culture and to teach classes and do a lecture/slide show. We now have over 40 quilts in the shoppe and we are really looking forward to seeing all the rest of the quilts given the beauty of the quilts we have seen so far. This show will truly reflect what quilting means to all of us lucky enough to be a part of it including all the non quilters that will be lucky enough to view the quilts. As a last note we will finish off the week with a Taste of Africa Night on Saturday October the 25th , Auction of quilts for different charities, awards,music, food tasting and dance. The Kenyan High Commissioner to Canada will be attending as well as the Zimbabwe ambassator to Canada. If people wish to see some pictures from Africa please view www.cotton-by-post.com

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Story Submitted by: altalynn

My name is Alta Rinaldi and I am from Mt. Holly, NC. I married an Italian, but am the 13th generation of my family, the Alwrans, who have many stories from the 1740's to present. I come from a long line of seamstresses and quilters from both sides of my family. I have made 9 quilts myself that are worth mentioning. I have just been given the family quilt (top only, never finished) made by my Great-Grandmother in the late 1930's. It is in 90% prefect condition. Interesting in itself, but there is a bit of history in each hand stitch. I have titled the top "Quilt of Many Nations". During WW II while several of her sons were at war my Great-Grandmother was at home. Just as today many companies offered deals to attract people to buy their product. With every carton of cigarettes purchased the company would give a 5 x 7" (approx.) patch. Each patch depicted the name and flag of a nation involved in the war. Great-Grandmother's boys send these patches to her from overseas. She decided to make a quilt using these patches to remember and share with the boys upon their return. I believe the patches to be 100% cotton. The quilt top has never been washed. Why she never completely finished the quilt I do not know. I have many questions myself. It has been in my Grandmother's cedar chest, folded and in a plastic bag for years!!!!! I have it now and would love to share a very unique piece of history with those who would love to know. Also I have a small budget in which to preserve this priceless piece of family history. I do not know where to begin? Please I need some advice and guidance. A Follow American Quilter, Alta Rinaldi

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Story Submitted by: pknord

I do hope the picture will come through. Way back in 1987, I went to the Paducah quilt show for the first time. The quilts were just so awesome! I was so inspired by them. I came home just bubbling over with ideas. I designed and pieced this top in about two weeks. I tried to get the illusion of light moving across the surface. Then I had no idea how to quilt it, so I tucked it away to ripen. I forgot all about it. In 1997, I was going through some cupboards, and found the top. My friend Agnes had just bought a Handiquilter setup. I passed the top on to her, and asked her to quilt it after she was happy with her new machine. She tucked it away and forgot it. In 2007, she got a longarm machine. She ran across this top and called me to apologise for forgetting about it. I had to have her describe it to me, because I'd forgotten it, too. So after 20 years, the top got quilted. She did free-motion feathers and vines on it. I did Ricky's piped binding on it and finished that up this spring. I love this quilt! Pat in Rockport, TX

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Story Submitted by: RockridgeQuilter

When my daughter became engaged in May, 2007, I gave the happy couple, Kelly and Jason, the option of either a double wedding ring or Mariner's compass design for a hand-quilted wedding gift. They chose the double wedding ring design in a sort of colorwash of yellows and blues. Kelly and I shopped for fabric and I immediately set out to design, assemble, and quilt; believing that with an August 17, 2008 wedding, I had plenty of time. (I also subsequently learned that Alex's son is being married that same day....small world!) Somewhere along the line I viewed the Quilt Show episode that featured signature squares by both Alex and Ricky. The idea of using signature squares in place of the wedding guest book was born. Kelly and Jason thought the idea "rocked", so another project was added. I used the leftover fabric from the double wedding ring project to make signatures squares. I can't wait to see the comments from our guests. And the progress on the double wedding ring you might ask? I'm sorry to say it's only about half quilted at this point. But there's still hope!! Thank you Alex and Ricky. I feel a part of your "quilting family", and wanted to be sure you knew you play a part in my family's celebration.

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Story Submitted by: 9patchnurse

I have been a nurse for 30 years, most of them in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital. I currently work in the Pediatric operating room and a year ago I was offered a wonderful opportunity to go on a medical mission to Peru. A team of pediatric plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and physician assistants (each paying our own travel expenses)traveled over 10,000 feet up into the Andes Mountains to the small town of Andahuaylas. We spent a week in a tiny hospital repairing cleft lips and palates as well as burn scars. The contracted scars from burns can be very disabling as well as disfiguring. Imagine not being able to close your eye or mouth or bend your fingers! And the stigma attached by some cultures to visible defects such as cleft lips can be devastating. In addition to medical care, we took as many donated items as we were allowed to take on the plane. Because our medical supplies and instruments took up the bulk of our allowed weight, each person was only allowed a carry on for 10 days worth of clothes and personal items! HOWEVER, through much wheedling and persistence, I was able to talk my way into being able to take 4 duffle bags of quilts!! With the magic of Space bags, I squished over 80 quilts into my duffles!! I received donations of quilts from my guild, The Flying Geese in Harford County MD, as well as from my online group, The Blockswappers (we met each other through the TQS forum!). Although I took a bit of teasing for my persistence in wanting to take the quilts (I believe I was referred to as the 'Blanket Nazi'), they were such a hit that everyone enjoyed giving them away. The patients and their families couldn't believe they got to keep them! We made sure that all of the children on the pediatric floor and the babies in the nursery got a quilt. The mission was a wonderful experience that I hope to be able to repeat, there is talk of another in the early planning stages. I'd better start sewing! What a great stash buster!!

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Story Submitted by: Bonnie23

I learned this Mother's Day the strength of bond in a quilt. I live in south Georgia and my Mother's Day began by going to our favorite family restaurant for breakfast. Earlier than normal as there was threat of severe thunderstorms in our area by mid morning. Back at home we were monitoring the weather from our local (60 mi. away) tv station. Our meteorologist was bringing constant live updates and had spotted a supercell capable of a tornado about 12 mi west of our shop and it is about 3 mi. west of our home. Within minutes the clouds grew darker and darker and the rain began to pour. BAM, our cable and internet goes off the air. We immediately knew there was trouble! The equipment for cable and internet for our county was housed in the Industrial Park 650 feet from our shop. We own a Marine Sales and Service business. Minutes after and the cable still off the air, my husband got a call from a friend that lives near our business. "Come to your shop, a tornado just blew it away!" He rushed out not knowing what to expect and preparing for the worst. Or so he thought! He certainly was not prepared! I stayed behind to wait for the weather to settle off, because we have 4 dogs that live with us and are terrified of thunder and lightning! I shouldn't leave them, but I couldn't stay. I grabbed a jacket and started out with my husband on the phone saying "Please understand, there is nothing left of our building and boats are everywhere! Preparing for the worst, or so I thought! I certainly was not! Still raining and lightning popping in the area, I stared in utter disbelief! Where our shop stood on Saturday, a sparkling, clean concrete slab was left! As far as you could see there was devastation! A building between our shop the the cable substation was a rehabilitation center and had 20 to 30 people inside. Their building destroyed, but still there. With no warning of the coming storm, they had gathered in the center of the building for a church service. All of their lives were spared with a couple of broken arms and minor cuts and scrapes. I began to pace. Walking though engines with most missing parts nowhere to be found, boats cracked and turned upside down, and with the exception of a very few tools most things from our building reduced to unrecognizable rubble! Beams that required bucket and boom trucks to raise into place were bent double and tossed hundreds of feet into an open field. Power lines twisted hundreds if not a thousand times. Two of my quilts were in my office inside the building as well as some bolts of fabric. Still in shock and walking the path of the storm searching for anything to salvage. Picking up tools, fabrics that was unwound from the bolts and some still all wrapped up. I saw what appeared to be another boat off in the distance across a dirt road in the newly created trail from the storm. The National Weather Service later measured this boat to be over 2000 yards from our shop. I made my way to the area to see if I could recognize anything there. As I scanned the area, I saw what appeared to be another bolt of fabric. Still raining I bogged though ankle deep water and discovered it was one of my quilts! Wrapped around the tree and twisted in briers, but I gently pulled it to safety! The queen size quilt, soaking wet and looked like it had been dragged through a mud pit was in one piece! Quilt in arms and against my white T Shirt and a black jacket, blue jeans with water dripping out of them and water sloshing out of my shoes. I headed straight for my truck. Between shock and adrenaline, I carried that quilt nearly 1 mile without breaking stride - straight to the bed of our truck. As friends arrived and joined the salvage effort, the other quilt was found under some debris in the same state as the other. Near the second quilt was more bolts of fabric. I called a friend to pick up the quilts to be rinsed before the hot sun set the dirt and grime in permanently. I haven't gotten them back yet, but they survived with a few small tears and a couple of stains that may not come out. I washed some of the fabric last night and am washing more as I write tonight (or morning). It is truly amazing to me that the fury of this storm ripped apart over 8000 pound boats, yet I still have my quilts and hopefully can salvage enough fabric to make a "Tornado Quilt". I suppose the same strong bond that binds quilters, shares the same magic in their quilts!

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Story Submitted by: Margo

We don't have any pets any longer, but I do have two bird boxes for wild birds in the yard. We almost always have 2-3 clutches of Bluebirds in one box, and the other is up for grabs to whoever gets it first. Sometimes wrens, sometimes chickadees, sometimes nuthatches. From what I can tell so far it looks like there will be Bluebirds in both boxes this year, and the start of nest building is always a promise that warm weather will soon be here!

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Story Submitted by: Caitlin

In late 2004 my father was diagnosed with leukemia. The therapy through winter and summer of 2005 was a roller coaster ride. There were days I wasn't sure if he was going to make it. Dad was in hospital for 2 months straight that winter and he and my mother had to live in our local metropolitan city during the later half of his therapy as he had to be close to the clinic. The day they were able to return home was a triumph. Early that fall Quilter's Newletter Magazine published a pattern utilizing peoples hand prints to make a quilt. I latched onto that, drew up a list of participants and started slicing up blocks of fabric. The mail went out and started flowing back in at a good rate. Reading not only the endearments family and friend had written on the blocks themselves but the notes that came back to me had me in tears a lot! By Christmas The quilt, now 8x8 feet, was stitched in the ditch but had yet to be quilted or bound. Dad opened it up Christmas morning and was overcome with emotion. While it was not my intent, it was the 3rd time I've ever seen my father cry. All that expression of love, hope and healing in one place was very intense. The wonderful news is that dad is still in remission. He and my mother just bought a house 2 blocks from us, making me very happy.

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Story Submitted by: quiltpinkauction

The 2008 campaign, now in full-swing, hopes to build on the momentum of the previous year and set record breaking fundraising results. Here is your chance to join the combined efforts of thousands of quilters, merchants and fundraisers who are making a difference. The Quilt Pink auction will be starting May 7, 2008 and will conclude in November. With the assistance of Auctionwire, the premiere online auction agency, hundreds of quilts will be available for auction. New this year, you’ll be able to hear about the quilts and the personal stories behind them. Net proceeds from Quilt Pink benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure campaign. For more details about the auction, visit www.quiltpink.givingroom.com. Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race of the Cure, they have invested early $1 billion to fulfill their promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org.

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Story Submitted by: NancyAnn1959

A friend of a friend, Desiree, had an idea for her 50th birthday. She would have her friends, family and co-workers decorate blocks and she'd make a quilt. She went to JoAnn's and got help estimating how much muslin to buy and picked out a couple of other fabrics. It took Desiree almost a year to get all the blocks back and by then, she had lost her nerve, having never made a quilt before. I met with her and gave her some tips about cutting sashing strips and sewing the blocks together in rows. Months later, I ran into Desiree who sheepishly admitted that she still had not done anything about making the quilt. I said "why don't you just let me make it for you?" She was happy and relieved. The first problem I had was that the blocks were so different! Some were heavily beaded and embellished. Some were stiff with paint. Desiree had not told them to leave seam allowance, so some of the designs extended right to the edges. One was simply a square of knitting. Some of them show things about the maker, others show things about their relationship with Desiree. A few contain photos. I decided that in order to sew them together, I would first have to applique them each onto another piece of beige fabric so that I would have seam allowance to work with. I had recently purchased a new machine and had fun experimenting with all the decorative stitches. I then sashed all the blocks with her fabrics and decided that it might look more interesting to tip the blocks and make them "wonky". I found a nice border fabric and got enough for the backing as well. It came together nicely but was quite a challenge to quilt, since many of the blocks were stiff and I had to quilt around the beads and charms. It's also quite heavy. Desiree has plans for a "reveal" party and she's going to have everyone sign the label for the back of the quilt. It was alot of fun working on this for her and even though I don't know her well, I learned alot about her and her friends from seeing what the blocks are. She plans on hanging the quilt on her dining room wall and is glad it only took 3 1/2 years to complete!


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